This volume documents the ethnographies of regionally distinct Dalit and tribal Christian communities, raising new arguments pertaining to the autonomy and distinct identity of these communities in adverse social set-ups.

Stressing upon the plurality of identities, the essays reject the idea of determining these exclusively on the basis of religion. They also chart the multiple levels of marginality experienced by both Dalit and tribal Christians and analyze how these groups negotiate their former religious faith and practices with Christianity.

The book is a response to the urgent need for such studies in social science writings brought to the fore by contemporary political challenges and struggles facing these communities in various parts of India.

Legally Hindu: Dalit Lutheran Christians of Coastal Andhra Pradesh

Legally Hindu: Dalit Lutheran Christians of Coastal Andhra Pradesh

Legally Hindu: Dalit Lutheran Christians of coastal Andhra Pradesh
Ashok KumarM. and RowenaRobinson1


This chapter explores the question of dual identity among Dalit Christians of Andhra, with a special focus on the Lutherans. It is probable that there is some commonality in terms of religious identity as well as social meanings attached to Dalit Christianity in general across different states of India (see also Lobo 1989; Mosse 1994 and Schmalz 2005). In recent times, one has been reading about the violence in Orissa against the Scheduled Caste Pana Christians and the expressions of hostility voiced by those who believe that the Panas practice Christianity in private but assume a Hindu label in order to obtain benefits available to ...

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